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Deputies attacked chained inmate, new federal charges allege

Federal authorities on Friday indicted two Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies who allegedly beat a chained jail inmate, then falsely accused him of attacking them.

Deputies Joey Aguiar and Mariano Ramirez were indicted on charges in connection with the beating of an inmate in February 2009.

According to the indictment, Aguiar and Ramirez punched and kicked the victim before using pepper spray on him. The deputies also struck him with a flashlight, prosecutors charged.

DOCUMENT: Read the indictment

The deputies then wrote false reports claiming that the inmate had "viciously kicked his legs at deputies."

The allegations surfaced in 2011 when the American Civil Liberties Union made public a declaration from a jail chaplain saying he witnessed deputies attacking the inmate.

A sheriff's task force investigated the chaplain's claims and forwarded a case to L.A. prosecutors. But by then, the statue of limitations had passed.

In December, 18 current and former deputies were charged and accused of beating jail inmates and visitors, trying to intimidate an FBI agent, and other crimes following a two-year investigation of corruption inside the nation's largest jail system. All of those defendants have pleaded not guilty.

A few weeks after the charges were filed, Sheriff Lee Baca decided to retire instead of seeking reelection to a fifth term in office.

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Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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